Skip to main content

How to Survive Fall Hay Fever: Part 7 of 7

Follow this 7-part series to learn to better cope with Fall Allergies & Allergic Rhinitis.

Fall allergy season is on its way. For those with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) life can become miserable pretty quickly. With the arrival of all that beautiful fall color and cooler temperatures comes an increase in the 17 varieties of ragweed; three out of four people who are allergic to pollen are also allergic to ragweed.

Ragweed is a hardy annual and thrives in locations where turf grasses and other perennials haven’t taken root: particularly along riverbanks, in vacant lots, and on the side of the road.

One ragweed plant can produce an incredible one billion grains of pollen. And unfortunately, it doesn’t drop harmlessly to the ground; it tends to remain aloft in the breeze. Pollen has been found hundreds of miles out to sea and 10,000 feet up in the atmosphere.

Hay fever, like all allergies, is caused by a “glitch” in the body’s immune system. When normally harmful foreign substances like bacteria and viruses enter, the body tries to attack and neutralize them.

Unfortunately, the immune system in those with allergies reacts the same way to normally harmless substances like tiny weed pollen grains. The most intense period for this excess ragweed pollen activity is August through October, until the first frost. In the Atlanta area, the season may extend a bit longer because of our mild temperatures.

With all the pollen in the air in the autumn, what can hay fever sufferers do to reduce their misery?

The mainstream thinking is that allergy sufferers should avoid going outdoors during morning hours because pollen counts tend to be higher then. But not all doctors agree with that theory: one doctor reviewed a half-century of medical literature and concluded there is no proof that hay fever sufferers can minimize their symptoms by staying indoors during certain times of the day.

There are other effective ways to curb symptoms of hay fever that include avoidance strategies and medical treatment.

Follow our six proven strategies outlined below for relief from seasonal fall allergy symptoms.

Part 1 Intro to Series

Strategy 1: Create a Pollen Free-Environment

Strategy 2: Wash Up

Strategies 3 & 4: Eliminate Allergy Foods and Cover Up

Strategy 5: Rinse for Relief

Strategy 6: Monitor Pollen Counts

Conclusion: Plan B


Plan B

You should get reasonable relief from your hay fever symptoms with our strategies listed earlier; but if they fail, medical solutions may be in order. Start with non-prescription antihistamines like Zyrtec and Claritin for quick relief of mild to moderate symptoms. Keep in mind that generics work just as well, so there’s no need to pay a premium price for a brand name.

If you suffer from congestion in addition to sneezing, and an itchy, runny nose, try adding a decongestant (i.e. Sudafed). You can also purchase combination antihistamine + decongestant solutions. Look for product names with a “D” in the name, such as Tavist D. If you have high blood pressure, be sure to check with your doctor before taking a decongestant. Some can cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure.

If you still suffer symptoms, you may want to consider a steroid nasal spray such as Flonase or Nasonex. If your irritation turns into a sinus infection, your doctor may need to prescribe antibiotics as well.

Another option that works well for some patients is a leukotriene inhibitor such as Singulair. These meds block the release of leukotriene to help reduce inflammation and other symptoms of allergic rhinitis.


Get a Head Start

The best approach is to start treatment early and combine therapies as needed. After a thorough review of your medical history and a physical exam, we may recommend allergy shots or immunotherapy.

Allergy shots are a form of treatment that decreases symptoms for many common allergies, including allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Allergy shots work by decreasing sensitivity to allergens and often leads to long-term relief of allergy symptoms.

Keep in mind that it may take 30 days or longer for allergy shots to work, so start as early as possible by setting an appointment with one of our award-winning allergy doctors.

If you’ve experienced hay fever previously, chances are you’ll have it again this year as the ragweed pollen counts rise. Starting treatment before symptoms appear can limit their severity and duration.


Top Allergy Doctors

For a complete evaluation of your symptoms and quick relief, schedule an appointment with Allergy & Asthma Consultants. We have five convenient offices in the metro Atlanta area with a variety of available times — even same day appointments.

Our medical staff includes three award winning, board-certified allergy doctors, each with more than 25 years experience: Dr. Paul S. Rabinowitz, Dr. Mark D. Livezey, and Dr. Glen L. Nadel.

More than just a motto, we believe we are Big enough to cure, small enough to care.

Call Allergy & Asthma Consultants today for the best allergy, asthma & immunology care.


Links to Other Parts of This Series

Part 1 Intro to Series

Strategy 1: Create a Pollen Free-Environment

Strategy 2: Wash Up

Strategies 3 & 4: Eliminate Allergy Foods and Cover Up

Strategy 5: Rinse for Relief

Strategy 6: Monitor Pollen Counts

Conclusion: Plan B


You Might Also Enjoy...

Tips for Avoiding Frightful Food Allergies this Halloween

Between dodging vampires in haunted houses and listening to tales of terror, Halloween can be a scary time of make-believe. But for the four percent of children with food allergies, Halloween can be a real, horrifying experience. Holiday treats can ...

Fighting Fall Allergies? Bring it

These five tips will make you the victor in your battle against fall allergies Atlanta, GA | 9/12/2019 – It may seem as though every fall your allergies get the best of you rather than you coming out on top. Sneezing, wheezing, runny noses and itchy ...

Alpha-gal Syndrome or Red Meat Allergy

Alpha-gal Syndrome or Red Meat Allergy Is caused by a tick bite that leads to the production of antibodies against carbohydrate galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose that is in the saliva of the tick. This same carbohydrate is present in red meat. If you have ...